Curb-Jumping Drivers Kill Women in Manhattan and Brooklyn; No Charges

Luck, not law enforcement, is practically all that protects NYC pedestrians from reckless drivers. Photo: Post

Two pedestrians have been killed by curb-jumping drivers since Friday in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

On Friday evening at approximately 5:40, Martha Atwater was struck by the driver of a Honda truck after she stepped out of Bagel Cafe at the corner of Clinton Street and Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn Heights. The unidentified motorist was traveling north on Clinton Street when he “lost control” of the vehicle, mounted the sidewalk, and pinned Atwater against the building, according to reports. From the Post:

“She just came in to buy cookies. She looked happy, she was smiling,” said the cafe manager, Alauddin Shipun.

“She walked out. I heard a big bang and she was gone. Someone was trying to lift her head up and asking her, ‘Are you OK? Are you OK?’”

The 53-year-old driver may have lost consciousness because of diabetes, a police source said.

He remained at the scene and has not been charged.

An ABC report says Atwater was conscious while pinned underneath the vehicle, and that a UPS man called her family from her cell phone. She was pronounced dead at Long Island College Hospital.

Atwater, 48, was an Emmy-winning writer and producer of children’s television shows. She was married and had two young daughters. ”The problem I have now is that I have two children,” said her husband, Tom Wallack. “One is 12 and the other is 16. They need support.”

Sunday morning at around 1:50 a collision between a cab driver and another motorist sent the cab onto the curb on Third Avenue at E. 27th Street in Kips Bay, fatally striking a woman as she stood on the sidewalk. From the Post:

A 2010 Honda four-door pulled out of a parking lot and struck the rear of the taxi, sending it careening onto the sidewalk, cops said.

The cab slammed into the victim, who suffered severe leg trauma and massive bleeding, officials said.

The woman was taken to Bellevue, where she was pronounced dead.

The News reported that the victim may have been in her 60s, but her name had not been released by police as of this afternoon. According to an NYPD spokesperson, investigations into both crashes are ongoing. There is simply no way a crash like this happens without one or both drivers behaving recklessly, yet if past patterns hold no one will be charged for taking this woman’s life.

We have a query in with Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes’s office regarding the death of Martha Atwater. The office of Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, who during his 2009 campaign pledged to crack down on careless driving, does not comment on vehicular crimes. The curb-jumping driver who seriously injured 90-year-old Dr. Mansoor Day outside Saks Fifth Avenue earlier this month was not charged for the crash, according to online court records.

The latest known Manhattan pedestrian fatality occurred in the 13th Precinct, in the City Council district represented by Rosie Mendez.

Martha Atwater was killed in the 84th Precinct and in Steve Levin’s council district.

It has been a year since the City Council held a hearing on motorist killings of pedestrians and cyclists. In 2012, 15,465 city pedestrians and cyclists were injured in city traffic, and 155 were killed, according to NYPD. About 1 percent of those crashes were investigated by police.